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Posts from the ‘California’ Category

Lucy at the Bardessono Hotel ~ Yountville, CA

The setting for a late afternoon bite at Lucy Restaurant & Bar  yesterday could not have been better.  The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and the Bardessono Hotel’s gorgeously landscaped grounds and their masterful sustainable architecture set the mood for a delicious, innovative meal.   

Because of the odd hour we weren’t able to from their main lunch or dinner menu, but were given a great array of options from the lounge menu.  We started our meal with an appetizer salad of mixed greens.  The leaves that were used literally traveled a couple dozen steps from the onsite garden to our table, it couldn’t have been any fresher.  The salad was light, airy, and lightly coated in a lemon and honey vinaigrette and had thinly sliced pear for a bit of crunch.  Also to start we ordered the Georgia Turtle-Free Shrimp cocktail that was perfectly cooked, absolutely spot on, and the cocktail sauce was tangy with a touch of spice and had a great thickness.  “Turtle-Free” means that our five large shrimp were sustainably harvested without harming our shelled reptile friends.  

 My partner had the Masami Ranch burger made from insanely good, Kobe beef, that was presented with pickled vegetables, on a house-made bun.  The burger itself was flavorful, juicy, and also cooked to perfection.  As with most great burgers, it was accompanied with hot, seasoned fries that were crisp and salted just right.   I opted for the Alaskan Halibut Sliders in a curry spice with potato chips as my entree.  The small sliders were served with arugula from the garden, carmelized onion and a mint and lemon aioli.  The only tiny complaint would be if the buns used in our entrees could have been a little less thick and a little more moist to soak up all of the fabulous flavors in these unique, and tasty dishes. 

Watching the chefs walk to and from the garden pulling ingredients as they prepped for the dinner service made us grin ear-to-ear.  If only all restaurants (and homes) could operate this way, making sustainable and organic meals like the fabulous one we devoured at Lucy the world would be a better and healthier place.  It was the perfect way to celebrate the end of our stay at Napa Valley’s most luxurious and LEED-Platinum Bardessono Hotel.

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Buddha’s Belly ~ Santa Monica, CA

We hit the Buddha’s Belly after window shopping the promenade in Santa Monica during their happy hour.  I was very interested in trying the food at this spot after finding them in our hotel’s green restaurant directory.  The restaurant recycles all plastics, glass, raw food, paper and cardboard waste.  Buddha’s Belly also supports local farmers and producers, and uses organic produce when possible.   I really liked that the restaurant provides their used cooking oil for bio-diesel vehicles and energy-efficient fixtures and switches have been installed in the restaurant.

During our visit we encountered a very friendly staff that was eager to please.  We had a small assortment of dishes off the happy hour menu that included the seaweed salad, chicken potstickers, and the har gow.  The har gow was our personal favorite.  I look forward to trying more dishes next time we head that way.

Malibu Seafood ~ Malibu, CA

Malibu Seafood is hands down my favorite restaurant in Malibu. The fish and chips was so perfectly cooked and the breading was minimal, but crisp. The fish tacos were so fresh and delicious I often still dream of them.  Try to get down to this charming fish shack before sunset to catch the amazing views of the Pacific.  This favorite spot among locals and tourists is BYOB, so don’t forget to pick up an organic bottle of wine before you make the drive.